Marc Blane's Extreme Jewelry sculptures (oversized industrial- feel replicas of bling-obsessed America's accessory icons) were recently put on display in the sedate surroundings of Chelsea Arts Club's lush private garden. A fitting contextual backdrop for an artist whose work has turned the furniture and detritus of New York's streets into hi-low art statements and who makes us re-evaluate social assumptions about the urban landscape; here with these 'monuments' to bling reminding us who really holds the reins of influence and power in American culture today.
From his conceptual works that question the notion of (more traditional) monuments within cities and their relevance in the modern day populous - such as Teddy Roosevelt masked by a giant bubble of street found soda bottle caps (which may say something more truthful to the passer by about contemporary US belief systems than the figure concealed within) to his (monumental in feel) basket ball hoops sitting atop disused, redundant pedestals and plinths so prevalent in the city's less wealthy district parks and gardens - Blane consistently makes us look at NYC through a fresh pair of eyes. His Forces of Urban Nature works show again that key New York urban icon of the basketball hoop, this time growing ancient iron roots, like a felled tree, with the structure becoming a metaphor for a recent, seemingly acceptable replacement to nature. Other conceptual pieces play on the idea of a broader urban playground with ancient burial mounds and bucolic deer parks imagined by the artist upon the derelict wastelands of the Bronx.
Blane's own urban playground has always been New York, growing up with his family in the Brooklyn and then living and working on the lower East Side ever since it was the undesirable denizen of the down and out (well before it became a pleasure dome for the underground art and music scene back in the Eighties).
In 1979 and living in the lower East Side's Bowery district, Blane became intrigued by a particular brand of wine which was clearly marketed to the city's street drinkers (with its pocket friendly shape and size and 'straight from the bottle' ergonomics). At the same time he was creating other works around the concept of the city's burnt out high rises. In collecting up the empty green wine bottles a series of works was formed with a photograph of a derelict New York building placed inside each bottle and then cases of 24 of the bottles stamped with the title Abandoned Buildings. NYC's unwanted all neatly packed up and sold off. We are privileged to have a limited number of these highly collectable Abandoned Buildings bottles from 1979 offered for sale on the store pages at everythinginmystudio.